Serendipity Student Bible

Version: NIV
Publisher: Zondervan

This is a very good student Bible to use. It is filled with questions for discussion and 120 lesson plans. There are questionnaires throughout to help the students think and understand the passage better.

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Silly Movie/Mega-Banana Split

This was a favorite among our youth this summer. We rented a silly (age appropriate) movie and the youth were given a list of silly things they had to do during certain portions of the movie. (i.e. They watched Stuart Little, everytime they saw a mouse – other than Stuart – in the movie they had to stand up and hollar in a high sqeeky female voice, “Eeeek! A mouse! Henry get my broom!”) After the movie they met outside where we had lined 3 tables up end to end and covered with a plastic table cloth. We then had all the adults help us build a Mega-Banana Split while the youth watched. Once the split was done and everyone had a spoon we said grace and dug in! We’ve had many requests to do this activity again!

NOTE: To build the banana split we split the bananas and set them down the center of the table (lengthwise) then scooped LOTS of ice cream, laced with gobs of carmel, strawberry and chocolate sauce, then smoothered in whipped cream. Sprinkles, cherries and a few chopped nuts completed the 24 Foot Mega-Banana Split!

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Sister City

Have your youth group join/adopt another youth group from another city. The primary purpose is edification and and encouragement. Keep up monthly correspondence with your sister city through a newsletter, videos, pen-pal letters (you could match up each youth here with a specific youth there), etc. Lift each other up in prayer, share ministry opportunities, plan simultaneous events or Bible studies and then share the results, etc. If possible, plan a trip to meet up with the other youth group at some point.

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Spirit-Filled Life For Student

Version: NKJV
Publisher: Nelson

There are boxed entries throughout the pages called “Kingdom Dynamics” that focus on 15 crucial Bible topics with the central goal of the subjects presented to relate “power points” of the Holy Spirit- filled life that touch on foundational precepts, life-releasing promises, relational priorities and practical power principles.

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Starting Point Study Bible

The “Starting Point Study Bible” is published by Zondervan. I like it so much because it is a good Bible for students who are new to the Christian faith. “Starting Point” has bold words every so often that the students (even adults/youth workers) can refer to in the back glossary concerning what that word means. Also in the back it has a section called ‘Glossary of Christian Jargon’ which tries to help define and clarify Christian Jargon in a general way.

The glossaries are great for students new to the faith and even for students that have been Christians but are still learning (aka everyone). I just graduated from an undergrad university with a Ministry/Theology major and I love “Starting Point” because it helps me to remember things that I sometimes think everyone already knows. “Starting Point” helps the Bible become real. It is a GNT translation (Good News Translation) but it is still a really good Bible.

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Student / Senior Symposium

This idea is a great communication tool for parent/student or senior/student discussions. Our youth and seniors still talk about it.

All you require is two larger cubes which serve as dice [two 4″ pieces of 4×4 will do, but foam blocks are preferable], sticky notes, and pens.

Once everybody was seated in a circle, we asked each senior to write one question on a sticky note which they would like to ask a young person and the youth one question they would like to ask a senior. The seniors then placed six of their sticky notes on their cube/ die [one on each side] and the youth did the same. Then they switched cubes.

Each person, young and old, then took a turn “rolling the die” — the youth rolling the senior die and the senior rolling the youth die. Whichever question came out on top of the roll, the person responded to. You can leave it at the person’s response and move on to the next person, or you can take a moment to open that question to the group for deeper discussion.

The questions ranged from the topic of sex and sexuality to dealing with peer pressure; for both adults and youth. The response to this event was both surprising and rewarding. It fostered a geniune appreciation between these two age groups and the seniors have become our youths’ greatest supporters.

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A Christmas idea – Give each youth a Christmas Stocking or have them make one. Then, have them find items that total 3-5 dollars to put in the stocking. Have them staple the stocking shut and bring it to the Christmas party. Place the stockings in a pile; give each person a number. Starting with the number 1 have that person pick out a stocking. They open their stocking, and then the person with the number 2 goes to the pile and chooses a stocking or they can take the one from number one. Continue on through until everyone has a stocking.

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Sucker Game

Give each youth a wrapped sucker at the start of the game. Tell them they can’t eat them or unwrap them until the game is over, but they will have an opportunity to earn more suckers in this game. They can get another sucker by telling a story to the group. If they talk while someone else is talking (other than for encouragement) or if they repeat a story or idea that someone else had, they have to give the speaker their sucker.

This encourages group sharing and understanding. This can be used to just plain get to know each other, to review ideas (they can try to stump the leader about material covered by asking questions. No one can repeat a question asked already, so they have to listen to each other), to make up stories, to retell Bible stories…. Suckers are very motivating!!

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Super Bowl Sub Sandwiches

Each youth member takes orders for 3 varieties of sub-sandwiches 3-4 weeks prior to Super Bowl Sunday. Build subs on Sat. and include pick-up time and delivery time for the elderly or those who need delivery. Through the years we’ve learned to make ham, turkey, and the club (ham and turkey) all which automatically comes with cheese (Beef was too expensive). Additional cost for subs with the works of course. We’ve chosen lettuce, onion, pickle and black olives. So the choice is meat and cheese only, or “the works” (choice of meats and everything on it.) It took too long to custom make subs -(we make nearly 500 – 600 each yr.) Put on the music and make your assembly line and go to it. When you’re good enough you’ll be done by noon! Order sub buns through a local bakery and it would be a good idea to place plastic sheeting over a carpeted church basement. People may smell onions in church on Sunday morning but nobody minds. Just hope their mind is on the message and not the game. Ha!

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Survivor Summer

Our youth group was really dying last spring! The youth were uncommitted and not very excited about the activites. When we asked them what they would like to do, they would only state the same activites they were seemingly bored with. They didn’t want to think outside of the box. So in an effort to salvage the group, we planned ahead our entire summer worth of activities for the youth. Trips to the mall in the middle of the week, baseball games, concerts, scavenger hunts, fundraisers, mission trips, etc. Everything had a point value, including bringing a first time friend, volunteer work, Sunday School and Church Services. At the end of the summer we tallied up the points. Youth that got up to a certain preset amount of points were entitled to a free weekend trip to an amusement park. We had a prize for he person with the most points, too. And all the youth were invited to go on our weekend trip, they just paid the percentage of points they were short!

The youth were really excited about the points system and now for the fall have submitted several creative fun ideas of their own to try! God is so Good!

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